Reviewed on: PC
Dead Space is a Survival Horror game developed by EA Redwood Shores (now known as Visceral Games) and released in 2008. The player takes control of Isaac Clark, an engineer sent to repair the Planetcracker class starship named USG Ishimura, Clark chose the mission so he could try and find his girlfriend Nicole who was aboard the ship when the problems started.
The gameplay of Dead Space isn't unique, but there are still cool aspects to it. In-game menus such as the inventory screen or objectives screen are part of the actual game world rather than part of the interface, these menus are projected in front of Isaac from his R.I.G which means what you see Isaac is seeing. The guns of Dead Space are different to other games as rather than being actual weapons they're engineering tools that Isaac uses as improvised weapons, a good example is the Plasma cutter (which is the first weapon you get) that is used for cutting minerals, but Isaac uses it as an improvised handgun. The Kinesis and Stasis modules are also big parts of the gameplay, Kinesis is used to move large objects or pickup/throw distant objects, good uses are picking up hard to reach ammo or throwing dismembered limbs as a weapon, Stasis is used to slow objects or enemies and is very helpful when confronted by fast enemies.
Enemies in Dead Space are not killed in the traditional sense instead the player must cut off limbs and dismember enemies to kill them, its not a new idea but still it can be fun or surprising especially when an enemy with no head will keep charging you. New weapons or R.I.Gs can be brought at stores that are scattered throughout the levels, the store also features a safe so you can save ammo or health packs for later, weapons, your rig and the stasis and kinesis modules can also all be upgraded at workbench's to improve their stats by adding power nodes. At various points in the game there are zero gravity areas where you can jump from wall to wall and walk on the ceiling making fighting and puzzles much more interesting as you have to scan every surface to progress and this serves to mix up the gameplay.
The soundtrack of the game is suitably creepy and disturbing with thundering crescendos during fights or moments designed to make you jump and quiet (almost too quiet) moments with only three sounds: your footsteps that thunder in the silence of space, your breathing and the sound of the air flow that follows you through every corridor and room even though there's no wind. The graphics of Dead Space are good, but do get boring with the same style used everywhere (but to be fair what else can you expect on a starship). Interestingly Dead Space uses quite a bright colour palette for textures making it much more realistic and most importantly they still manage to keep the right atmosphere that is essential to the genre.
The story is really good but can be hard to pick up as you have to find most of it through the logs you pick up, although a big flaw I found is that they seem surprised at everything that's wrong on the ship and each thing irritates and confuses them even though they did a complete diagnostic check at the start of the game and knew about all of these problems from the start.
Some other cool things you should be on the lookout for when you're playing are zero gravity basketball which is a minigame within the game which has some rewards. Also take the first letter from each chapter title and see what it spells out for a bit of a shock.
Dead Space is a very cool game and if you like the look of it you should definitely buy it, however there is one very big problem with Dead Space, It is very similar to Doom 3 with the only big difference being as Isaac you have to fix things as you go along on your merry undead monster killing spree way. Still though I'd say you should buy this game.